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Manipur violence: Tribal belt in Gujarat to observe bandh on July 23

Ahmedabad: A bandh will be observed in the tribal belt of Gujarat on Sunday in protest against the ethnic violence and atrocities on women in Manipur, a tribal leader said.

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The opposition Congress has decided to support the bandh in protest against the ruling BJP’s “failure” to control the situation in the north-eastern state, a party spokesperson said on Saturday.

Several tribal outfits, including Adivasi Ekta Manch, have come together to call for a shutdown in the tribal-dominated districts of Gujarat.

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“On Sunday, a bandh will be observed in the tribal belt in Gujarat as per the call given by the tribal community to protest against violence and atrocities against women in Manipur; Madhya Pradesh urination incident, and atrocities on tribals in Gujarat,” said tribal leader Praful Vasava, who recently resigned from Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

He said the call for a shutdown is not announced under the banner of any single organisation or a political party but with the consensus of various tribal and other socio-political organisations.

“Several tribal organisations have given a call for a bandh to protest against the Central government’s stance on Manipur. They requested Congress for support to the bandh and the party has decided to fully support it. The BJP is responsible for the situation in Manipur,” said Gujarat Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi.

A video shot on May 4 surfaced on Wednesday, showing two women from one of the warring communities in Manipur being paraded naked by a few men from the other side, sparking national outrage.

Gujarat accounts for around eight per cent of the Scheduled Tribe (ST) population of India which is mainly concentrated in the eastern districts of the state.

More than 160 people have lost their lives, and several have been injured since ethnic violence broke out in Manipur on May 3, when a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

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